Emotions, the Route Towards Public Persuasion

I suck at one thing, and one thing only, emotional persuasion.

When we talk about persuasion, isn’t it something pertained about rhetorics? Something about figures of speech?

As what Marcus Cicero terms a great orator, is somebody that encompasses as much knowledge as possible, and as much heartfelt feelings towards his citizens as possible.

From Aristotle era, there was the saying of what successful persuasion is composed of.

65% pathos, 25% logos and 10% ethos.

Ethos, means authority and authenticity. People would like to hear from somebody that has a reputation of telling truth, and a reputation of knowledge.

Logos, means logicality and rationality. This uses rhetorics, figures of speech to make clear and bright points that reflect values instantly, and that people would likely accept.

Pathos, means emotions, or establishing emotional connections with the audience. Somehow this, takes the major chunk of the persuasion conundrum.

Emotions are these spontaneous and instant responses from things. They are, reactions. Most people are emotional beings, as what my Reaction Mechanism article would suggest.

Emotion arises when a person sees herself in another person, when she identifies with the other person.

Public emotions usually arise under the premise of empathy and sympathy. Whenever there’s a public outcry, it’s usually because the event itself hits hard on people’s hearts. For which we have the examples of the anti-slavery movement after triangle trade in UK by Thomas Clarkson, and anti-war movement in the 60s for Vietnam War, and in recent history the minority liberation/anti-discrimination movements in the States.

I see these campaigns hit hard on people because they solicit resonance from people, make people heart feel the pains and sufferings others have to go through as a fellow human being.

What fears me is the fact that Chinese don’t have empathy, our economy and political system have already turned most people into robots who don’t feel, and sometimes skewed feelings towards things. Just very unnatural humanity.

On the individual level, what solicits emotions is probably sincerity, as my friend suggests. However, I think this idea that, “one sees oneself in the other”, is very powerful and explanatory of emotions. Maybe it’s this sudden moment of resemblance between you and me, established this emotional link between each of us. This sudden moment can just be a simple gesture, and this simple gesture makes a person feel warm in a crowded chamber of subway, makes a person feel brightened at a cold night on the streets, makes a person feel happy at the corner of a room.

Sometimes, the power of language prevails in soliciting emotions from public. Certain words can have instant responses from the public, instant reactions of disgust, of sorrow, of anger, of happiness and more.

Emotions are hard to dissect is because they are not rational, and they are never rational. For me, to use a post-mortem way of looking at emotions is like examining thin air. You get nothing. But my curiosity disagrees, psychology utilizes methodologies to come up with how feelings exactly work in human brains. And to some extent, instead of thinking about it, how about, just feel it?

I think I might delve deeper into the root of this and update more.

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